Research Honors Program

The Stritch School of Medicine (SSOM) Research Honors Program is designed to distinguish those medical student graduates who have completed a structured research curriculum, as well as to recognize their research achievements.

Candidates for the MD degree who complete a program of advanced education and experience in research will be recognized with an MD and completion of the Research Honors Program.

  1. In the Dean’s letter recommending the student for residency;
  2. On the student’s official final medical school transcript;
  3. At the St. Albert’s Day Research Forum; and
  4. At medical school graduation, including notation in the program.

Requirements for Admission

  • Completion of the STAR Program (Student Training in Approaches to Research) (or STAR-equivalent program, see STAR website) offered after the first year of medical school;
  • Current and ongoing good academic standing at SSOM;
  • Application and acceptance to the Research Honors Program at the beginning of the second year of medical school; and

To Enroll in the Research Honors Program

Students who may be interested in exploring research should participate in the STAR Program (or STAR-equivalent program) offered after the first year of school.  Information on the STAR Program is available at STAR Program.

Enrollment in the Research Honors Program occurs at the beginning of the second year of medical school when the student requests admission and is accepted to the program. The Request for Admission/Acknowledgement of Requirements form should be sent to Maria Pelc at   An appropriate research project and Loyola faculty mentor must be identified.

Required Activities and Criteria for the Research  Honors Program

In order to receive the distinction of Honors in Research, the student must fulfill the requirements of the Research Honors Program, the student must:

  • Successfully complete the STAR Program (or equivalent) during the summer following the first year of medical school;
  • Present this initial work at the St. Albert’s Research Day Forum in the fall of M2;
  • Attend all 8 of the monthly Research Honors Seminars during M2 which provide important information regarding research and careers in research;
  • During your 3rd or 4th year of medical school, document your attendance at 12 research-related seminars and/or journal clubs (outside of the required 8 monthly Research Honors seminars);
  • Pursue a continuing or new research project throughout the last three years of medical school under the guidance of a selected research mentor (the project and mentor proposed by the student must be approved by the Medical Student Research Committee);
  • Satisfactorily complete a  research elective during the third or fourth year of medical school; application can be done through myLumen and select RES-401 elective.

    If you are completing your research elective outside of Loyola, please contact Maria Pelc at x68434 for details.

  • Present and participate a second time in the St. Albert’s Day Research Forum during the third OR fourth year of medical school; 
  • Complete an ORIGINAL RESEARCH MANUSCRIPT describing your scientific work.  Manuscripts such as literature reviews, case reports, small case series and chapters DO NOT meet the qualifications for this requirement;
  • SUBMIT the manuscript for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal no later than the mid-April deadline appropriate for your graduation year.  You will need to provide a PDF of the manuscript submitted together with a receipt for the submission from the peer review journal.  Please send both of these to Maria Pelc at 
  • For students who are enrolled in more than one honors program at SSOM, you must complete and present two separate capstone projects to fulfill the requirements of each program. In rare instances, a student may be granted permission to explore substantially different aspects of the same overarching project for their capstone requirement. This permission must be explicitly and jointly agreed by the directors of each honors program in advance.

The Student Research Committee will review the faculty endorsement, determine the quality of the scientific work, and make recommendations to the Dean regarding the graduation distinction.  Selected students who complete this award will also be awarded special distinction for their research work.